Dollhouse Episodes

2009, TV Show

Dollhouse Episode: "Vows"

Season 2, Episode 1
Episode Synopsis: The Season 2 opener begins with Echo engaged in a mission for Ballard: marrying a British businessman (Jamie Bamber) linked to one of the former FBI agent's open cases. Saunders, meanwhile, deals with the unique circumstances of her origin by aiming her wrath at Topher.
Original Air Date: Sep 25, 2009
Guest Cast Jamie Bamber: Martin Klar Alexis Denisof: Sen. Daniel Perrin
Full Episode
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Season 2, Episode 1
Subscription | Netflix
Length: 43:35
Aired: 9/25/2009
Also available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and VUDU
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Dollhouse Episode Recap: "Vows" Season 2, Episode 1

Welcome to the second season of Dollhouse! No doubt, the shock of being granted a second chapter wore off long before the Fourth of July, but I hope fans remained excited enough to tune in. No need to wait for unprecedented DVD sales and feature film follow-up with this one, a la Firefly. With "Vows," Whedon & Co. springboard off their first season and deliver a Dollhouse (the show, the building, the staff...) inherently changed by Alpha's run of the place last spring.

Whiskey
Speaking of changes, Dr. Saunders' — I mean, Whiskey's had a hell of a time adjusting to the idea that everything she is was chosen by someone else. Her storyline, wrestling with her hatred for Topher, fit perfectly with where we left her. Amy Acker has never been a series regular and that hasn't changed, but she was really given a chance to take center stage in this episode. I hated that she was so angry and dark, but I can't say I blame her. Who wouldn't be? I mean, she didn't put "Bride of Frankenstein" on Topher's computer 'cause it was the only DVD available in The House.

Ivy
In the first quarter of the episode, two of the suggestions I made in the final blog of last season came to fruition. Clearly Joss is a reader. I kid (seriously), but it was great to see a new opening title sequence and, more importantly, Liza Lapira's return as Topher's protégé and juice-box fetcher, Ivy.

Agent Mr. Ballard
Arguably, Paul changed more than anyone else due to the events of the first season. He went from a frustrated FBI agent looking for any shred of proof that the Dollhouse existed to working for the organization but retaining his contempt for it. Angel fans will liken it to the gang's running of Wolfram & Hart in that series' fifth season. Can you work inside the belly of the beast without being digested?

By episode's end, he's already given up his resistance to being Echo's new handler and accepted that role. How many more compromises will he make and where will they take him?

Victor
Taking a back seat in this episode, Victor's role was mostly about explaining how he's been faring since being attacked by Alpha. Not surprisingly, Adelle granted procedures to fix the scars on his face. After all, she'll need a good Roger-ing eventually. This actually says quite a lot about Adelle. Despite imprinting Victor with a specific personality, Roger, for her own Ms. Lonely-hearts engagements, she seems more concerned with his looks than his personality.

Victor and Sierra's feelings for one another haven't gone away. No, there were no man reactions, but there was some hand holding.

Echo
Echo's been spending the past few months working with Ballard on open cases from his FBI days. She's been imprinted to think she's been Paul's partner at the FBI for three years.

Ironically, to help on these cases, her imprint must pretend to be some else. She's wormed her way into the life and heart of arms-dealer Martin Klar. While this storyline was entertaining enough, it did remind me a bit of the pilot's kidnapping storyline.

I guess I'm just more of a big picture kind of guy and would rather spend episodes with our main cast, learning the ins and outs of The Dollhouse than on standalone engagements. However, I recognize that's just not what this show is. I mean, if we never saw the engagements, what would we really know about the organization? The experiences these actives go through on these missions are our opinion of The Dollhouse. Without them, the revelations just aren't as powerful.

Alexis Denisof
Angel alum Alexis Denisof appeared briefly as Senator Daniel Perrin. While his intentions to expose the Rossum Corporation may seem similar to Agent Paul Ballard's, I expect he'll go on a wildly different journey. Full disclosure: I'm just happy Denisof is on television and am looking forward to more screen time from him in the upcoming episodes.

Topher
This guy sleeps in the server room? Dr. Saunders had agoraphobia programmed into her, what's his excuse?

Production
It was during Dr. Saunders rat prank that I first noticed the subtle changes the crew has made to how the show is shot. Besides allowing for more handheld sequences, using new cameras will allow director's to spend less time lighting scenes and more time talking with actors. I will say certain scenes had a much softer, almost dreamlike, look to them than last. That's not a negative, but it's certainly an aesthetic change I noticed. And, hey, if it makes the show cheaper, then it's one of the reasons Dollhouse is still open for business. Due to that alone, I approve.

"Epitaph One"
Invariably, someone will bring up the first season's "lost" episode, the future-set "Epitaph One." It just won't be me. Except to say that I won't be addressing the dark path the show seems set to take until it's actually addressed on the FOX network. Until we know what is and isn't canon, it doesn't feel right to bring their destinies into the conversation. Don't despair. It shouldn't be too long before we see how the experimental flash-forward will pay off. Joss has been dropping hints that we will get another look into the future. However, please use the boards for discussion about whatever you'd like, including the un-aired episode.

Great Lines & Moments

Topher: This is my house, Frenemy. Nothing happens without my...
Noticing glitches in his computer system.
Topher: ... What the hell?

Victor: You're touching my face.
Adelle: Move along.

Adelle: Why in particular does this engagement bother you?
Boyd: You know, after that news anchor—
Adelle: Which one?
Boyd: The one who wanted to be rolled in eggs and flour and dipped in—
Adelle: Ahh, Tempura Joe. Such a lonely soul.

Sierra: Ahem, if you little worker bees aren't too busy, I was promised a treatment.

Sierra: Can I have the other one? The man one?

Sierra: I'm not comfortable with Orientals.

Topher: How many more today?
Ivy: Well, The Jonas Brothers are back in town.
Topher: Say no more.

Whiskey/Dr. Saunders: I like my scars. They bring out my eyes.

Whiskey/Dr. Saunders: What if she went over your head?
Boyd: I'm very tall.

Whiskey/Dr. Saunders: There's no judging in The Dollhouse.

Roma/Echo: I'm justice. I'm blind when I need to be.

Ballard: Klar wouldn't touch something so hot.
Roma/Echo: He married me.

Echo: No one is their best in here.

Topher (to Whiskey): Because you're better than that. Because you're better than me.

Topher: I was designing a person. Not a Roomba.

Ballard hitting Echo like The Fonz hitting a jukebox, in order to cycle through her various personalities.

I hope you enjoyed the return of Dollhouse as much as I did. It wasn't perfect but I had a great time catching up with these characters and seeing what's become of them. Don't miss next week's episode, "Instinct."

And so it begins... again. "Grrr, arrrgghhh!"

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Welcome to the second season of Dollhouse! No doubt, the shock of being granted a second chapter wore off long before the Fourth of July, but I hope fans remained excited enough to tune in. No need to wait for unprecedented DVD sales and feature film follow-up with this one, a la Firefly. With "Vows," Whedon & Co. springboard off their first season and deliver a Dollhouse (the show, the building, the staff...) inherently changed by Alpha's run of the place last spring.

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Premiered: February 13, 2009, on FOX
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (471 ratings)
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Premise: A sci-fi drama about a woman named Echo and other 'Actives' who are controlled by a shadowy group. Each week, they're programmed with specific personalities in order to service the needs of the wealthy, ranging from hostage negotiation to providing comfort to securing the Dollhouse itself. When finished with the jobs, their minds are wiped clean. Yet, for some, memories linger, and for Echo they become a driving force that she shields from her handlers.

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